KCLS Recommends: Children's - Middle Eastern Heritage
Annotation:Razia dreams of getting an education, but in her small Afghan village, girls have not been allowed to attend school for many years, when a new girls' school opens in the village, Razia must convince her family to let her attend. Ages 8 - 12
Annotation:In the companion novel to Shooting Kabul, Ariana's family owns the Kabul Corner, an Afghan grocery store in suburban Freemont, California. The arrival of a rival Afghan grocery threatens the family livelihood and rekindles an old feud. When both grocery stores are vandalized, the kids must unite to stop the crime. Ages 8 - 12
Annotation:As Nasreddine and his father take dates, wool, chickens, or watermelon to market, people tease them no matter who is riding their donkey, and this causes Nasreddine embarrassment until his father helps him to understand. Ages 6 - 8
Annotation:Retells folktales and fables from Iran, including the story of a mouse and a cockroach who fell in love, a foolish weaver's apprentice, and a boy with the head of a chickpea. Ages 7 - 10
Annotation:.Jameela feels relatively secure, sustained by her Muslim faith and the love of her mother, Mor. But when Mor dies, Jameela's father impulsively decides to start a new life in Kabul where Jameela ultimately becomes an orphan after being abandoned in a busy marketplace by her father and stepmother. Ages 10 +
Annotation:In Sydney, Australia, and in Morocco, two boys and their families have a day of shopping. Readers are invited to compare illustrations in two wordless stories that are intended to be read one from left to right and the other from right to left. Ages 5 - 7
Annotation:This award winning book for young people collects all of Nye's poems about the Middle East and her experience as an Arab-American in the U.S. Ages 10 +
Annotation:Examines the inventions and scientific discoveries from the Golden Age of the Muslim world, and discusses the introduction of the decimal system, Alhazen's study of light, the maps drawn by Al-Idrisi, and more. Ages 9 – 12.
Annotation:Three Arab-American girls learn about their family and cultural history from their grandmother, who grew up in Cairo, Egypt, and moved to New Jersey after her marriage. Ages 6 – 8.
Annotation:Documents the inspiring January 2011 story about how thousands of Egypt's students, library workers, and demonstrators joined hands around the great Library of Alexandria to protect the building and the freedom it represents.
Annotation:When Jouha counts the ten donkeys carrying his dates to market, he repeatedly forgets to count the one he is riding on, causing him great consternation. Ages 6 – 8.
Annotation:Based on the Joha tales of the Arabic-speaking world, in which a hapless man finds a wishing stick that brings him nothing but bad luck. Ages 6 - 9
Annotation:After her parents are taken away by the Taliban, young Nasreen stops speaking but as she spends time in a secret school, she slowly breaks out of her shell. Ages 6 - 9
Annotation:After the First Crusades conquered the divided factions of his native land, Saladin unites his people against the invaders. Ages 9 – 12.
Annotation:In this retelling of a Persian folktale attributed to Jalaledin Rūmī, , a parrot tricks a wealthy merchant into setting him free. Ages 4-10
Annotation:Surviving in a cave in war-torn Afghanistan, Aman and his mother are separated from Aman's beloved dog, Shadow, when they flee for the safety of England, a situation that compels Aman to accept help from new friends to reunite with his dog. Ages 9-14
Annotation:When Marjan, a thirteen-year-old crippled girl, joins the Sultan's harem in ancient Persia, she gathers for Shahrazad the stories which will save the queen's life. Ages 11 and up.
Annotation:Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind. Ages 9-14
Annotation:When young Yasmin goes for a visit, her grandmother teaches her a Muslim's daily prayers, makes special prayer clothes, and gives a gift that will help Yasmin remember when to pray. Ages 5-8
Annotation:A childless woman's prayers are answered by the arrival of a talking pot, but the new mother knows that Little Pot must learn right from wrong just like any child. Ages 3 – 8.
Annotation:As the riverboat sails down the Nile River, remnants of Egypt's long history and aspects of its present culture are revealed on its banks. Ages 4 – 8
Annotation:Thirteen-year-old Hayaat makes the perilous journey from Bethlehem, across the Separation Wall, into Jerusalem in an attempt to fill an empty hummus jar with soil from the land of her grandmother's ancestral home. Ages 9–14
Annotation:A retelling of twenty-two Middle Eastern folktales about Mulla Nasreddin Hoca, a wise man remembered for his insightful and humorous stories. Ages 6 - 12
Annotation:Impressed by a poor Jewish shoemaker's belief that God will ensure everything turns out as it should, a shah in Kabul, Afghanistan, devises a series of hardships to test the man's faith. Ages 5-8
A Shared List by KCLS Children's Librarians: American and World Culture Booklists
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The “Middle East” (also called the “Near East”) is a region in Western Asia and North Africa. It consists of countries from Libya to Afghanistan, usually including Egypt, Sudan, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the other countries of the Arabian peninsula. Middle Easterners are Arabs, Turks, Persians, Israelis, Kurds, Assyrians (Chaldo-Assyrians), Arameans-Syriacs, Egyptian Copts, Armenians, Azeris, Maltese, Circassians, Greeks, Turcomans, Shabaks, Yazidis, Mandeans, Georgians, Roma, Gagauz, Mhallami and Samaritans. The Middle East also was home to many ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Canaan and Ancient Egypt. The Middle East includes many diverse religious groups and is considered the birthplace of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Although the Middle East is majority Arab in ethnicity and the largest practiced religion is Islam, this list will consider books for children that are from any of the many ethnicities and religious groups of the Middle East. The people and culture of anyone who is geographically from or descended from the Middle East could be considered for this list. This booklist is not intended to be a booklist about Islam. However, Islamic people and culture may be portrayed in books that describe people from the Middle East or people of Middle Eastern Heritage. The list may include picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, folklore, biography, both fiction and non-fiction. Books will be selected by qualified librarians based on their quality, availability and kid appeal.